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Exodus - Shovel Headed Tour Machine: Live At Wacken And Other Atrocities

Label: Nuclear Blast
Format: CD/DVD
Released: 2009
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 7.5/10

Triple disc set (DVD and CD devoted to the eleven track ’08 Wacken set: 68 minutes), the second/final DVD devoted to documentary, outtakes, promo videos and the like. The noon set on Aug 2nd last year featured only four Baloff-era tracks, all from the "Bonded By Blood" debut (title cut, ‘A Lesson In Violence’, ‘Piranha’ and ‘Strike Of The Beast’), so in that regard it differs from the three (four, counting Combat’s quickly pulled ‘A Lesson In Violence’, featuring Baloff live in Studio 54, April 3, 1985) live discs already issued by the band.


This marks Rob Dukes’ initial foray into the live recording. Apart from lazy, omnipresent utterances of the F-bomb, in all its variations, there’s little to put his stamp on the festivities, but in his defense, there’s some rough editing between song, so some banter might reside on the cutting room floor. While the trio of studio albums since ’04 (last two featuring Dukes) trumps any stretch in the San Fran thrashers’ roller coaster history, the choices from said period on display here offer a couple of head scratching inclusions (or more accurately, their favor over some noticeable deletions and I’m not complaining about Americanized absentees like ‘Toxic Waltz’). Nothing off "Pleasures Of The Flesh"? Where’s their signature tune, ‘Tempo Of The Damned’? This is supposed to be the biggest metal event in the world and you’re filming a DVD! OK, minor rant aside. Say what you will about re-recording (altering) the monolithic debut, but what stands out here are the guitars of originator Gary Holt (naturally) and latecomer Lee Altus (ex-Heathen). Killer fretwork.

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